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Demi Birch

Finance Manager

Career development journey at Vercity

I began my career at Vercity back in 2015 as a Finance Assistant on several healthcare projects. I was new to the PFI world and found it really interesting and rewarding, especially as I had the pleasure of being part of the team at my own local hospital.

Whilst working through my accountancy exams I was promoted to Management Accountant and, until early 2020, stayed within the healthcare sector, getting great insight into not only the finance side, but also the operational aspects too. In early 2020 I applied for an internal role which came up in a totally different sector, which leads me to my current position as Finance Manager of the street lighting portfolio.

Advice for new starters to Vercity

My first piece of advice for new starters is to talk to and build relationships with as many colleagues as possible. The knowledge across company is a brilliant resource and invaluable for anyone new to Vercity! Also, as Vercity offers great progression opportunities and supports employee development, I would encourage new starters to be vocal about career aspirations.

My other tip would be to begin reading and understanding project contracts at the earliest opportunity. This saved me a lot of time in the long run, as knowing my way around them meant I was able to investigate and resolve queries much quicker.

Work/life balance in Covid

Whilst working from home during the pandemic, it’s too easy to just stay at the laptop and carry on working through lunch or into the evenings. To avoid falling into this trap, I’ve found it really useful to create more structure in the day, mainly by going for a walk or run each morning to get some fresh air, taking the time to cook lunch and eat it at the dining table so I have a break from the screen, and then exercising after work for half an hour to help with switching off. I also find planning my work diary at the start of each week is really helpful for staying on track when all the days seem to merge into one!

Future plans

My immediate focus is on becoming a well-rounded Finance Manager and broadening my understanding of the wider business, with a view to continuing my career progression within Vercity. I also plan to embark upon another professional qualification, pursuing my interest in tax.

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